This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the LordÕs people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else.
Thoughts for Today:The Bible tells us that God can be disappointed with His people from time to time. Over and over, He has looked at His chosen ones and called them stiff-necked and hard-hearted. Do you think He's said those things to be mean? Of course not. What God wants from us is to be different than the world. He wants us to be forgiving, loving, merciful and generous. God wants us to care about people like He does. And that also means giving our money to help those in need.
Some people might say there is no correlation between caring for people and giving money. Scripture would disagree. In fact, Jesus said there is a direct relationship between how we feel about money and the way we demonstrate compassion toward others. (Luke 6:34-36: "And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.")
In our passage today, Paul tells us something else about giving: It proves us. In other words, the sharing of our financial gifts is evidence of our obedience to Christ. So if we claim to love people, but aren't giving financially, we're fooling ourselves. Why? Because the Bible inextricably links the two together.
Questions to Ponder:How does your godly concern for people relate to your checkbook? Are caring and financial giving correlated in your household?